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Newsletter #1

May 2021  |  News and latest updates

Welcome to the Lake Victoria Basin Integrated Water Resources Management Programme’s (LVB IWRMP) first quarterly Newsletter. The Newsletter aims to be a key communication channel about the Programme progress and achievements made. It is aimed at Programme Partners, staff of the Lake Victoria Basin Commission and the EAC Secretariat, Partner State Senior Officials, LVBC National Focal Point Officers, Heads of Departments, and technical staff of EAC and Water Ministries. Also Water Resources Authorities, Water Service Providers, Universities and others who are or who wish to be a part of our network. 

We are excited to share Programme achievements and lessons learned with you and invite you to visit our website and social media platforms. 

The LVB IWRMP in a nutshell

The LVB IWRM Programme aims at improving water quality and availability through strategic and sustainable management of the Lake Victoria Basin. It has two components:

  1. To strengthen the capacity for cross-boundary integrated water resources management at LVBC through:
    - The establishment of a mutually approved and legally anchored IWRM strategy for the basin
    - The establishment of a Water Information System for supporting strategic decision making and information sharing
    - An investment plan and a pipeline of prioritised infrastructure investments aimed at reducing the pollution of the lake
      and its tributaries

  2. ​To improve the water quality of Lake Victoria and its tributaries by reducing effluents into the Lake and/or its tributaries through implementation of High Priority Investments (HPIs) in the Partner States


The preparation phase of the Programme was carried out from January to December 2016. The first phase of the Programme started in December 2019 and will end in February 2023. The overall Programme is expected to continue after that. 

The Programme is funded jointly by the Federal Republic of Germany and the European Union through KfW Development Bank.


Message from the Executive Secretary

The Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) is pleased to publish the first Quarterly Newsletter for the Lake Victoria Basin Integrated Water Resources Management Programme (LVB IWRMP). The Programme is based on long-term cooperation between the East African Community (EAC), KfW Development Bank from Germany and the European Union (EU). The cooperation forms a corner stone for LVBC’s efforts to address the challenges which the Lake Victoria Basin is facing to protect the Lake and its water resources for the future benefit of communities living in the region.

The Programme is implemented in close cooperation with the Partner States of the East African Community to ensure a shared programmatic approach, coordinated efforts and efficient execution of activities.

At LVBC we are committed to making the implementation of this outstanding Programme a success. You are kindly invited to find further information in this Newsletter and to participate actively in the joint efforts to manage water resources of the Basin in a sustainable way.

Dr Matano

Foreword from the Programme Coordination Unit

For the implementation of the Programme, LVBC has established the Programme Coordination Unit (PCU) comprising two staff, the head of the PCU and the Water Resources Modeller. The main task of the PCU is to organise and manage the Programme, including financial and contract management, monitoring and reporting and communication and visibility.

The PCU is supported by two consultant teams, the IWRM Programme Consultant (to support Component 1) and the Project Implementation Consultant (to support Component 2).

To date the programme has made progress on all activities as outlined below: High Priority Investments, the Programme Operational Manual, the Pipeline of Projects, the LVB IWRM Strategy, Communication and Visibility, and the LVB Water Information System. Covid-19 challenged us right from the start in finding new approaches for performing our tasks remotely, holding regional meetings, stakeholder consultations and workshops, which are key aspects of IWRM in a regional context. To keep all the stakeholders updated we are proud to present our first Newsletter.

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Arsène Mukubwa

Programme Coordinator

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Benjamin Ssekamuli

IWRM Modeller


High Priority Investments (HPIs)


High Priority Infrastructure Investments (HPIs) are aimed at reducing the pollution of the surface waters in the Basin. During the preparation phase of the Programme in 2016, four investment projects were selected from a longlist of projects, based on a jointly agreed prioritisation and selection procedure: (1) Kisumu (Kenya): Informal Settlement Sanitation, (2) Kigali (Rwanda): Faecal Sludge Treatment Plant, (3) Mwanza (Tanzania): sewer connection upgrade and extension, and (4) Kampala (Uganda): Constructed Wetland in the Nakivubo channel.


Feasibility studies for the High Priority Investments

During 2020 the 4 Feasibility Studies were updated by the Consultants. In November and December 2020 online workshops were held for 3 of the 4 investments to review their draft updated Feasibility Study reports. The HPI in Kampala was delayed because of new urban developments, which raised serious doubts on the viability of the earlier proposed Constructed Wetland. In the first quarter of 2021 the remaining 3 Feasibility Studies were further improved, cost estimates adjusted, and the operational concepts agreed upon. The 3 projects are now ready to advance to the detailed design level after the due signing of the Project and Funding Agreements (PFAs) between LVBC and the National Project Executing Agencies:

  • Lake Victoria South Water Works Development Agency and Kisumu Water and Sanitation Company (KIWASCO), Kenya

  • Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC), Rwanda

  • Mwanza Urban Water and Sanitation Authority (MWAUWASA), Tanzania

A new direction for the HPI in Uganda

The Uganda National Project Executing Agency led by the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE), the NWSC, NEMA and KCCA decided to propose as a new HPI, the rehabilitation of the Luzira Prison wastewater treatment ponds and ancillary network.

More details...

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Programme Operational Manual

A Programme Operational Manual (POM) was developed over the past 6 months, primarily designed to support the main stakeholders in managing the infrastructure investment component of the Programme. It lays down definitions and defines investment management and financial procedures including the assignment of tasks and responsibilities. The manual provides specific guidance on roles and responsibilities of institutions and officials in carrying out their duties in key areas of Investment Programme implementation.

The primary user of the Manual is the LVB IWRM Programme Coordination Unit (PCU) at LVBC. Institutions participating in the Programme should also take notice of this manual, notably the National Project Executing Agencies in the Partner states. This Manual may be used by other internal LVBC staff, consultants and external experts involved in the Programme.

Draft versions of the POM have been presented to LVBC management, the Partner States, as well as to KfW. It is expected that the final version will be published in the coming months.


Pipeline of Projects

The preparation for the call for new investment projects is ongoing. The eligibility and selection criteria were reviewed and revised. The Project Identification Form (PIF) was developed, tested and included in the POM. After clearance of the POM by KfW, the call for projects can be launched in the coming months.

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LVB IWRM Strategy

As part of the IWRM Strategy development, the LVB IWRM Institutional Assessment, Gap and SWOT analysis have been prepared in 2020. The Draft Assessment Report was presented, discussed in a high-level management meeting with LVBC and adjusted.


A concept paper for the further strategy development process was prepared in March 2021. Desk study will be complemented by stakeholder consultations to be held if possible, in June 2021. The combined findings of the desk study and the stakeholder consultations will be presented in a Situation Analysis summary report.


Based on the findings of the situation analysis, the consultant will develop a zero draft strategy outline, including vision, key objectives, and key strategic areas for the strategy. This shall be accompanied by a policy brief to inform key decision-makers on the content of the outline and the rationale for its scope and content.



Communication and Visibility

The development and implementation of a project Communications & Visibility (C&V) Strategy and Plan set out a visual identity for the Programme. Equally, communication materials such as a factsheet, folder, poster, a pull up banner and the design of merchandise provide the Programme with a memorable and uniform look. This is also reflected in the LVB IWRM website. The above-mentioned communication products are currently under review and will be launched in the next edition.

A Communications and Visibility workshop was held in Kisumu on 9 February where LVBC staff and the IPC selected team of experts came together to define the objectives of the C&V Strategy and Plan. The workshop aimed to share the communications objectives of the Programme and invited participants to provide inputs and fine tune these objectives. Outputs of the workshop include a report, a tweet, a story to be uploaded onto the website (not yet live and materials including a visual identity and factsheet.

Journalists from the Standard Newspaper have prepared a feature about pollution levels in the lake and how the LVB IWRM aims to address these challenges, which is due to be published next month. Social media posts have also been shared on the LVBC Twitter and Facebook feeds. We have also set up a dedicated YouTube channel for video. 

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IWRM Database and IWRM Model (LVB-WIS)

The IWRM database and IWRM model have been renamed as the LVB Water Information System or LVB-WIS. The first step in establishing the LVB-WIS is to build and implement the Database Platform.

To know the wishes and requirements of the 5 Partner States in the Basin regarding this LVB-WIS, online consultation meetings with the five National Technical Teams took place successfully from mid-August 2020 until the beginning of October. One clear wish of the Partner States was to include the Nile Basin Decision Support System (NB DSS) in the LVB-WIS.

On 23 October 2020, the Executive Secretary of LVBC and the Executive Director of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) held bilateral discussions and agreed to deepen cooperation, based on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two institutions which was already signed in 2006 (see news item online). The joint use of the NB DSS as a major part of the LVB-WIS database platform was agreed, with technical details discussed at NileSEC in Entebbe on November 16 and 17 (see online news item).

On February 17, 2021, the LVBC management endorsed the recommended ‘hybrid’ approach where the NB DSS and DelftFEWS are integrated to form the LVB-WIS database platform. The requirements of the Partner States as per the consultation as well as the needs of LVBC are met with this approach.

In follow-up discussions the hybrid approach was also endorsed by the NBI. An agreement covering the cooperation between NBI and LVBC, based on the existing MoU between NBI and EAC, is being prepared for signing in May 2021. This agreement covers the cooperation on the LVB-WIS, but also data exchange and sharing of technical expertise.

Work on models was not planned to start until early 2022. However, by selecting the NB DSS as part of the LVB-WIS, a suite of models that is well-used in the LVB will be available much sooner. Including the NB DSS in the LVB-WIS has effectively brought this forward.

An adjusted approach for model selection, procurement and implementation will be prepared starting mid-2021, focusing on functionality missing from the NB DSS (mostly for water quality modelling) and on improvements in the detailing of model schematizations now available in the NB DSS.

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Meetings and Site Visits

On 23 October 2020, an online high-level meeting between the Executive Secretary of LVBC and the Executive Director of NBI was held. The objective being to deepen the cooperation between the two institutions and agree on joint use of the NB DSS (see news item online).

A technical meeting between LVBC and NBI took place on 16 and 17 November 2020 in Entebbe/Uganda. The objective was to discuss joint use and development of the NB DSS. The main conclusion was that collaboration on the use of the NB DSS is very beneficial to both NBI and LVBC, and technically feasible (see news item online). 

On 23 March 2021, meetings and site visit at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST) in Bondo, Siaya County – Kenya took place. The focus of the visit was to explore potential for partnership and cooperation on an LVB IWRM Centre of Excellence.


Upcoming Activities

Despite the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, the PCU aims to make progress by facilitating high level meetings, organise webinars, sign three Project Financing Agreements with the National Project Executing Agencies in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania, and start the detailed design and procurement process for 3 of the 4 HPI’s, start the preparatory studies for the new HPI for Kampala, launch the call for new projects in the respective Partner States, establish the WIS Database Platform and organise stakeholder consultation on the LVB IWRM strategy.

To contact us, ask questions, or comment on this newsletter, please call or send an email to: 

Brenda Wamoto, Office Manager -